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  1.    #1  
    Like alot of semi-geeks, I find myself "supporting" a number of additional computer users, including a brother, parents, a girlfriend and Ira, who lives down the hall. While I am using the latest version of Office XP, because it is "locked" I can't/shouldn't share it. In the past what I did was set my low power "clients" up with an aging copy of the Office 2000 suite, as it is quite functional and forward-compatible with what anyone else is using. Starting six months ago when my children got a new computer sans application suite, I downloaded and installed the free Sun Microsystem OpenOffice suite. Then I installed it on my father's new laptop. And my girlfriend's tablet. I don't use the suite myself, but I suspect that OpenOffice is "better" than using the dated Office 2000 suite. I am interested in feedback on usability from people who use OpenOffice/StarOffice extensively. I haven't had any complaints from the people I have set up with the suite, but for the most part they don't use it much either.

    http://www.openoffice.org/
  2. #2  
    I have all four major office suites in my office.

    MS Office 2000
    Lotus SmartSuite 9.8
    Corel / Wordperfect Suite
    OpenOffice

    The reason....we have to prepare and deliver doscuments in client's desired format. A side benefit is that new employees avcn use whatever makes them comfy and do final edits in whatever we have to deliver in.

    Most of the peope who have worked here start using Lotus as their default application. It's just far easier to do complex documents in .... word processing dpocs with a lot of tables, frames and images.....databses is probably the biggest difference. I can get a new employee up in Approach in minutes if they never used a db before.


    My problem is that Lotus is letting 9.8 die on the vine.....they charge for patches...and there';s been no new release since right after XP came out. MS has used the time to keep fumbling with their file ormat to make conversions and "save as" less compatable.

    So we use Open Office a lot of times to open and save MS docs before importing them into LWP. Once saved by OO< they are a lot more friendly. However I have recenbtly been noting that more and more MS docs are giving em formatting issues even in OO. My son recently joined the Civil Air Patrol for example and teh application form hwich we downloaded as a doc file had page orientation errors upon import into all of the other word processors.

    But for most "normal" docs with out "touch and fill in" forms like that go in pretty easy. OO is about as intuitive as MS Office .... SmartSuite still leads by a wide margin here but every now and then I find myself having to use the help file to figure out how to do something which should be obvious..
  3. #3  
    I tired my best to get to like OpenOffice.org, but I always found it slow (even to load) and cumbersome to use, so back I went to Microsoft Office. There are still substantial usability issues with OpenOffice.org, and it is not as smooth to use as MS Office.
  4.    #4  
    I am still waiting for MS Word to get as usable as the vintage 1993 Lotus AmiPro 3.1...
  5. #5  
    The loading time of OpenOffice does frustrate me. I like the PDF export features and the fact that it's FREEEE but they need to improve things like the the Word importing problems and the lack of a Publisher import option.
    HP Pre 3 (UK)
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenHex
    I tired my best to get to like OpenOffice.org, but I always found it slow (even to load) and cumbersome to use, so back I went to Microsoft Office. There are still substantial usability issues with OpenOffice.org, and it is not as smooth to use as MS Office.
    MS accomplishes this ploy by preloading part of Office when windows boots. IIRC part of this is default windows behavior as it does the same with MSIE and more files are added upon the Office install. I once tried to get rid of this behavior and wasn't very successful. I wonder if a good procedure has been figure dout by now. Since we have MS on an otherwise unused machine, it doesn't bother me enough to worry about the performance hit.

    Corel / WP and Lotus soon incorporated similar functionality to make it an even playing field. OO now has a similar feature called "Quickstarter". It's nice an easy to unload just by unchecking the load at startup checkbox in Mike Lin's Start Up Control Panel.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Keefer Lucas
    I am still waiting for MS Word to get as usable as the vintage 1993 Lotus AmiPro 3.1...
    I still have *.sam files on my HD. LWP is so intuitive that even if I don't use a feature for a year I can avoid the help file by just thinking "Now where would I put that" ? But is they gonna keep charging for patches, I gonna start looking harder and harder at OO, Corel and other alternatives.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by JackNaylorPE
    OO now has a similar feature called "Quickstarter". It's nice an easy to unload just by unchecking the load at startup checkbox in Mike Lin's Start Up Control Panel.
    This is good information that I can use RIGHT NOW! I am at a point where the laptop I have and ALL software in it has to be given back... and I need to rebuild a working set-up from scratch. No point paying for MS Office when OO.org is available...
  9. #9  
    You can also grab the OEM Corel / WP or Lotus Suites for about $20

    http://www.a2zcomp.com/buy.asp?REF=2&SKU=0003314
    http://www.viosoftware.com/WordPerfe...02a9154dbc82c6
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by JackNaylorPE
    WP
    That brought back fond memories, maybe late 80's when "wp" (WordPerfect) reigned supreme!
    (no clue how it's doing right now)
  11. #11  
    Last time i saw Dataquest publish "shipments" it was Lotus 26%, WP 23% and MS 51% and that was like 1997. AFter that IBM reorganized dropping Lotus into the forgotten category, WP sold and no one ever really made an effort to challenge. With all the money MS brings in on Windows, they can divert money to any arena to outmarket the competition. Not to mention volume licensing where you got additional windows discounts if you bought office.
  12. #12  
    Ami Pro...now there was a great app....a combo of Word and Pagemaker, yet 100 times more usable than both.

    As with many great apps, it withered away.
  13. #13  
    AmiPro is now called WordPro and my office still uses it....so does the guy who writes the "How to use MS Word" books you see in CompUSA .

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